Monday, 28 July 2014

MUA Undress Me Too Palette Review

July has been a pretty hectic month for me so far, but at last I've had the chance to sit down and write this makeup review. I was talking my friend Mindy, another beauty blogger recently and she mentioned the MUA eyeshadow palettes, asking if I'd tried them. Until she brought it up and told me that they had good reviews I was completely unaware that they were worth looking at since I always walk straight past the MUA counter in Superdrug. The brand is so cheap over here I guess I just assume bad quality, but I was pleasantly surprised by these shadows ~ and at four pounds for twelve colours, you can't really afford not to give them a go! 

First thing I noticed when I visited the counter was that there is a surprisingly wide range of colours and lots of palettes to choose from. However, the most hyped ones are the 'Undress Me' palette and the one I went for, the 'Undress Me Too'. I think drugstore brands must be running out of synonyms for the word naked. Anyway I only chose this one because I liked the colours more, but I'm going to return for sure and pick up the other version so I can have all the neutrals>.<

Like many palettes this one comes with a little sponge brush that I probably won't use but it looks pretty just in the bottom there. The packaging is pretty plain but I don't like the fact that this one is white (all the other MUA palettes were black) just because it's so easy to get dirty from excess eyeshadow. It's plastic so can be easily cleaned, I would just prefer not to have to clean it!

As you can see there's a mixture of matte and shimmer shades, as well as a selection of cool and warm tones. They all have names but I don't think I need to write them all out for you. The colours that caught my eye the most were the gold and copper metallic shade which look so gorgeous in the palette, here's a swatch of some of my favourites:

The pigmentation of the shimmer shades is quite shocking because they look so pretty. I'm less impressed by the matte shades, especially the lighter ones because they don't show up as much~ but I would have bought this just for that gold on my middle finger because it's amazing. But I've found in the past a beautiful swatch can sometimes still be mediocre on the eyes, so I've done a really quick and basic smoky eye using some of the colours. I wanted to do a nice tutorial but I thought this would be better than nothing even if it is messy haha.

I used a matte colour (shy) all over the lid, then a light brown metallic (wink) in the centre. I used the matte black shade (corrupt) on the outer corner and lashline, and finished with a dap of the gold shade I like (devotion) in the inner corner. My eyebrow is also filled in using an MUA eyebrow pencil that I picked up at the same time! 

Overall I'd give the palette a 4/5

Bullet Graphics Super pigmented metallic shades
Bullet Graphics Ridiculously cheap
Bullet Graphics Blends easily
Bullet Graphics Simple but pretty packaging

X Matte shades are disappointing
X Doesn't really last all day without primer
X Easy to get messy

Friday, 4 July 2014

Battle of the BB Creams

When it comes to face makeup, I'm a total BB cream junkie. I have a few foundations but I only wear them on pretty special occasions~ this is primarily due to the fact that I love the easy application and skincare benefits that come with purchasing a good BB cream. The Korean ones in particular give a lot of Western foundations a run for their money when it comes to coverage, hence why I'm now a total convert and would never swap my precious BB's for a cheap foundation alternative from the drugstore.

I wanted to write this post to introduce you to some of my all time favourite BB creams, and hopefully break it down so you can find one that will suit your personal preferences. I haven't tried all the BB creams out there (yet) but I like to think I have a fair bit of experience with them, so hopefully this can be of use or just interest to you all. All the brands I've chosen are Korean, purely because I think they make much better skincare products than those you might find on the UK highstreet. I really hope you enjoy this post, let me know in the comments what your favourite BB cream (or foundation), because I'd love to know hehe^^

(These are just in alphabetical order by the way, not order of preference or anything). First up is the Etude House precious mineral bright fit BB cream, I use shade W13. You can usually purchase these for £8-£10, depending on the site. As with most Etude House products, the packaging is adorable, and is a much loved BB cream among many beauty bloggers, including myself!

Bullet Graphics SPF30 and PA++
Bullet Graphics Whitening 
Bullet Graphics Anti-Darkening
Bullet Graphics Anti-Wrinkle

Next, the Liole Beyond the Solution BB Cream. Unfortunately I have no idea what shade I have because I didn't purchase this myself and it doesn't seem to say on the product. It's a similar price to the Etude House one, with prices averaging around £10 online. There is very little English on the back, so I had to research this a little to find out it's claims and information>.< An important thing to note with this is there is no claim to have SPF, which some people prefer, but don't forget to wear sunscreen underneath this one!

Bullet Graphics Moisturizing
Bullet Graphics Smoothing
Bullet Graphics Soothing
Bullet Graphics Oil-Control
Bullet Graphics Long-lasting

This is the Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream, which I'm using in NO.21. This is my most used BB cream at the moment, I've not had it for that long but I read so many good reviews about this~ I'm not sure why I didn't buy it myself before! The packaging is not the prettiest so that's probably why I wasn't drawn to it (bad I know haha) but don't let that fool you because the product inside is awesome! I also find this one to be a little cheaper, with prices starting at £5 and going up to around £8.

Bullet Graphics SPF42 and PA+++
Bullet Graphics Lightens Skin Tone
Bullet Graphics Anti-Wrinkle
Bullet Graphics Whitening
Bullet Graphics Hides Blemishes
Bullet Graphics Anti-Aging

 Finally this is the Skin79 Super+ Blemish Balm with triple functions~ again I don't know the shade, this one was a Christmas present^^ As you may have noticed this one doesn't come in a tube, which is different from all the others. This is good if you store your makeup standing up because it's so stable, but bad if like me you use drawers because it might not fit in! This one seems to be the most expensive one, prices are often upwards of £10, and I've seen some online stores selling it for around £20.

Bullet Graphics SPF25 and PA++
Bullet Graphics Whitening
Bullet Graphics UV Protection
Bullet Graphics Wrinkle Improvement

 Now for the Comparisons!

1. Coverage~ Depending on the season and condition of your skin, you might not necessarily be choosing the BB cream with the most coverage. For example, in summer, it is more detrimental to layer on heavy face makeup since your skin could get hot and cause your pores to open up and produce more sebum.

These swatches above are when I apply the BB cream over some super black gel eyeliner, no one has blemishes that dark but it's just to allow an easy comparison. From highest to lowest coverage, the ranking is as follows: Missha, Etude House, Liole, Skin79. However, as you might be able to see, the Skin79 and Missha creams have a much better brightening effect than the others.


2. Colour ~ What I mean by this is that like with foundations, different brands of BB cream have different undertones, that suit cooler or warmer toned skins. Contrary to what some people seem to think, this undertone does not change even if you use a darker/lighter shade. It's become accepted that cooler toned people should stick to yellow undertones, and warmer people to pink. But I've heard from some makeup artists like Pony, that yellow ones are better for everyone because they are more brightening and are less likely to age you.

From what I can tell, the Etude House and Missha creams have a very definite yellow undertone, though in the image above the Missha one looks a lighter, when on the skin you can detect the yellow tones. The Liole one is possibly a little more pink, but I don't find it to be a bad thing, even though I'm cool toned. However the biggest issue that myself and many other people have with the Skin79 BB cream is that it has a tendency to look a bit grey. Since it's light coverage I don't put enough on to notice it enough, but after a couple of layers the grey tones become more obvious~ so I suggest testing this one first to see if it looks ok on your skin!


3. Lasting power~ This is a factor that I'm sure many of you are curious about, since it's something that you have to see for yourself. Depending on the climate of the countries you are all living in, the other makeup you use in conjunction with BB creams and the sorts of everyday activities you do will greatly affect how long your makeup last, so I can only give you my personal experience with each product. To give you an idea, I live in the UK where it's currently supposed to be 'summer' but the weather fluctuates. I wore these for a full day at college where I didn't do anything too strenuous or out of the ordinary^^

I found that the longest lasting one when I got home was the Missha one, closely followed by the Liole (which kept my skin more matte in comparison with the others). The Etude House one had reasonable lasting power, but it definitely looked better in the morning! Skin79 was trailing behind again though, probably due to the low coverage.


Etude House - 9/10
Looks great on the skin, brightening, very affordable, cute packaging
Doesn't control oil very well, may not last all day with reapplication

Liole - 8/10
Affordable, good coverage for summer, stays matte the longest
No sun protection, not brightening, no English translation on the product

Missha - 9/10
Great coverage, brightens skin tone, very affordable, high SPF 
Pretty boring packaging, prone to not lasting on hot days

Skin79 - 7/10
Lighter coverage, UV protection, unique packaging
Can have grey undertones, awkward shaped container, not very brightening